Halcyon - Demo
Self Financed
Epic Power Metal
5 songs (23:26)
Release year: 2003
Reviewed by Mike

Here's another fine demo to add to the long list of impressive demos that we've received here at MetalReviews so far this year. These guys have a very tight budget, but they have managed to put together a very respectable sounding 5 track demo that has been a pleasure to listen to. Halcyon are a Swedish band, playing epic power metal.

While listening to these guys, I can't help but think of Anders Zackrisson era Nocturnal Rites. Each of the songs features an uplifting, epic feeling very similar to the first three Nocturnal Rites albums. Naturally, the songs are packed with melodies that jump on you upon first listen. The guitar work is the dominating strong point for the band. The riffs are tight and fast, providing a solid backdrop for the galloping tunes on this disc. Furthermore, there are numerous, majestic rhythms to speak of throughout the disc. There is scattered use of keyboards throughout the songs. They are not a very prominent part of the sound however. Instead, they are used occasionally to emphasize a melody, or enrich the epic atmosphere of the song. When you add all these ingredients together, you come up some excellent, surprisingly mature song structures for a band that is just starting out. Each of the five songs on this disc is addictive as hell with all the melodies and lead guitar licks coming at you nonstop

While I do like the sound of this band quite a lot, there is one aspect in which I would like to see the band improve; lead vocals. Don't get me wrong here, the guy is a great fit for the band, but I find him to be inconsistent on this disc. At times, he sounds very shy behind the mic (the leadoff track, A Fey Well Canorous), but at other times (the excellent anthem, Metal Force) he is very confident and sounds great. He seems to do a better job when singing in the higher octaves, a bit on the shaky side in the lower octaves. There are a couple of instances where he falls out of tune (again, mostly on the lower end), but these type of mistakes are very typical for bands just starting at the demo level. These kinks will disappear with practice. With some guidance and practice, he can develop confidence and the ability to use his voice effectively.

All in all, Halcyon have a lot of great ideas and songwriting skill to work with. Some hard work and practice should be all that's needed to bring the lead vocals to level they need to be in order to compete with the big name bands out there. These guys seem very dedicated to their music, so I really look forward to hearing how they develop and progress in the near future. Don't be surprised if you hear this name again some time down the road….

Killing Songs :
Metal Force, The Savage and the Philosopher
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